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A terrific weekend
June 29, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
This weekend was one of those that reminds me how lucky we are to live in this neck of the woods. The weather was touch-and-go, but there was so much good stuff going on I was almost too busy to notice it.
My band played two gigs on Saturday, at the Gloversville Farmers' Market grand opening in the morning and later at the North Bush Church pig roast. In between, my family and I made appearances at a couple of parties, and on Sunday we checked out the season-opening event at the Caroga Historical Society & Museum. (If you remember what Sherman's was like in the old days, you ought to see how they have set up the old arcade as a walk-in exhibit.)
I shot some photos and a little video of LeRoy Lane performing at the Caroga event. He's playing a 1952 Gibson J45 acoustic flat-top guitar. Gary Van Slyke and Jon Boulette and I (all guitar players) sort of hovered around him while he played the gorgeous thing. It's a honey of a guitar, and LeRoy is great -- he has chops worthy of such a fine instrument). LeRoy is from Bleecker, and he can occasionally be seen and heard at the downtown Gloversville open mic. More frequently, he performs with the Bleecker Mountain Boys and other bluegrass bands. He's also a builder of fine resonator guitars.
Here, he's playing "Ragged but Right," a ragtime-country-blues classic:
(A side note: Much of the background noise you hear is the sound of a blacksmith and his assistant working at a fire and forge that were set up about 8 feet to the left of where LeRoy was performing. As a musician myself, I can sympathize with the frustration of having to perform over an unreasonable amount of noise. They could just have easily have put the musician and the blacksmith on opposite sides of the museum grounds, but I guess non-musicians tend not to think about these things in advance. I recall one festival gig I played a couple of years ago at which I had to sing and play a stone's throw from where a guy was carving wood sculptures with a chainsaw. And the person in charge of the event warned me to make sure my acoustic guitar wasn't 'turned up too loud.")
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